United States District Court, E.D. Tennessee
DARELL L. FLEMING, Plaintiff,
CENTERION MEDICAL PROVIDER FOR TDOC, Defendant.
February 22, 2017, this Court entered an Order in this civil
rights action, filed pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 by pro
se prisoner Darrell L. Fleming [Doc. 3; see Doc. 2].
In that Order, the Court summarized the factual allegations
in Plaintiff's Complaint - namely, that Plaintiff has had
a life-threatening hernia since the day he arrived at Morgan
County Correctional Complex (“MCCC”), that the
medical staff knows about his hernia, and that he has
complained about his hernia, but he has been denied any
medical care for this condition - against defendant,
Centerion/M.H.M, a private company contracted to provide
medical services to inmates at MCCC [Doc. 3; see
Doc. 2].The Court noted that, under the
Prison Litigation Reform Act (“PLRA”), the Court
is required to screen prisoner complaints and sua
sponte dismiss any claims that are frivolous or
malicious, fail to state a claim for relief, or are against
defendants who are immune [Doc. 3 (citing 28 U.S.C.
§§ 1915(e)(2)(B) and 1915(A); Benson v.
O'Brian, 179 F.3d 1014 (6th Cir. 1999))]. After
setting forth the relevant legal standards governing
dismissals for failure to state a claim and § 1983
claims against both individuals and entities based on medical
deliberate indifference, the Court stated:
The factual allegations in the complaint are, at present,
scant. Plaintiff alleges that he has a serious medical
condition - a life threatening hernia - that has not been
treated, despite various employees of Centerion being aware
of the condition. Had Plaintiff named any of his medical
providers as defendants in this action, the Court would
conclude that Plaintiff has presented sufficient factual
allegations to allow the Court to infer that they may be
liable to Plaintiff for his alleged Eighth Amendment
violation, based on their deliberate indifference to his
serious medical needs.
However, Plaintiff's complaint names only Centerion as a
defendant to this action, and in order for this private
corporation to be liable for Plaintiff's alleged harm, he
must allege that the corporation employed a policy, custom,
pattern, or practice that was the moving force behind his
lack of medical treatment. Plaintiff's complaint
currently contains no such allegations, and thus, in its
present form, does not appear to state any claims for relief
that would survive the screening requirements of 28 U.S.C.
[Doc. 3 at 4-5].
the Court concluded that it was conceivable that Plaintiff
could cure any defects in the complaint if given leave to
amend, ” and thus ordered Plaintiff to file an amended
complaint to replace and supersede his original complaint
within twenty-one days of the entry of the order
[Id. at 5]. Plaintiff was given notice that
“if he fail[ed] to timely comply with this order, the
Court may dismiss this action for want of prosecution and
failure to comply with orders of the Court, pursuant to
Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 41(b), or it may sua
sponte dismiss the original complaint for failure to
state a claim pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §§ 1915.”
[Id. at 6]. Despite this warning, over 48 days have
now passed since the entry of the Court's Order, and
Plaintiff has not filed an amended complaint or otherwise
responded to the Court's Order.
Court noted in its prior order, Plaintiff's Complaint
does not state any claims for relief against the sole
Defendant, Centerion, that can survive the screening
requirements of 28 U.S.C. § 1915. Without the benefit of
an amended complaint, which Plaintiff has declined to file,
the Court must accordingly DISMISS Plaintiffs action for
failure to state a claim upon which relief may be granted
under § 1983, pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §§
1915(e)(2)(B) and 1915(A).
Court CERTIFIES that any appeal from this action would not be
taken in good faith and would be totally frivolous.
See Rule 24 of the Federal Rules of Appellate
APPROPRIATE ORDER WILL ENTER.
In his Complaint, Plaintiff states
that he named Centerion as the lone defendant to this action
because he has been denied access to his medical records and
thus has no knowledge of the names of any individuals
involved in the alleged unconstitutional acts. [Doc. 2 at
As the Court previously noted, in
order to state a claim against Centerion, Plaintiff cannot
rely upon a theory of respondeat superior liability; instead,
he “must prove that a policy, custom, pattern, or
practice of the corporation was the moving force behind his
alleged constitutional violation.” See, e.g.,
Street v. Corr. Corp. of Am., 102 F.3d 810, 817-18
(6th Cir. 1996) (applying municipal liability standard from
Monell v. Dept. of Soc. Servs., 436 U.S. 658 (1978),
to private corporation operating prison); see also
Rouster v. Cty. of Saginaw, 749 F.3d 437, 453 (6th ...